September 16, 2012–The “King of the Cowboys” was running late.
Trevor Brazile was flipping between events. He competed at the Pendleton Round-Up on Wednesday, when he took first place in two roping events, tie-down and team roping, which put him in the Saturday finals. Then he took off for Texas. At 5:30 am Saturday he flew from Abilene, TX in his charter plane on the return to Pendleton.
“It was a smooth ride and then the pilot leaned back and said he had a problem . . . we had a problem . . . I guess when you’re in something like that together y’all have a problem.” The pilot said he was losing oil pressure and had to find an emergency landing place.
“That was a long 25 minutes,” said Brazile. “A lot of cowboys were praying in that plane, that’s for sure. But everything worked out. We landed at Salt Lake International, had 40 minutes to catch a plane.”
Brazile lucked into a commercial flight into Pasco, Washington, an hour from Pendleton and made it just in time for his first event, calf roping. He came in third. But he and partner Patrick Smith won the team roping event and Brazile went on to win the overall title on Saturday, the final day of the 102nd Pendleton Round-Up. Smith, 32, Midland, TX, is a champion heeler in team roping, where one roper, the header, in this case Brazile, ropes the steer’s horns, then his partner ropes both of the steers hind hooves, the heeler.
Brazile is the winningest competitor in rodeo history. The 35-year-old from Decatur, TX won the all-around cowboy award at the Pendleton Round-Up in 1999 and has won two roping titles including today’s. He has 16 world titles, was the all-around winner last December in Las Vegas at the world series of rodeo, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and he has over $4.3 million in winnings. In 2012 he has won a phenomenal 35 rodeos, 36 with today’s victory.
The four-day Pendleton Round-Up ended Saturday. For complete results visit pendletonroundup.com.
Singing the praises of the Round-Up, Brazile said, “I love this rodeo. You can’t win in front of better fans–even when I’m not winning I like to watch the victory laps because the fans are so great in Pendleton.”